Thursday, May 2, 2013
First, a story I call...
So last fall I was one of the organizers for the Halifax Zine Fair (hey look, you can already apply for a table for this year!). It was pretty fun making sure everything was ready in time, though a little stressful too. The most stressful part was when we asked one of the people tabling at the fair to leave.
This wasn't an easy decision to make. The other co-organizer had heard multiple complaints concerning the items this person was selling. We took a look at this zine, which was being given out for free, and several of us discussed the content and what we thought we should do concerning the creator.
Asking them not to have the work in question on display wasn't an option, as they only had a few things and I think they would have had nothing left if they removed what we'd heard complaints about. So we made the decision of asking them to leave the zine fair. Thankfully they left without any real fuss, and the rest of the zine fair went without any other incidents. You can read the creator's take of the day (including several complaints they received about their work) on their blog (http://dmgermain.blogspot.ca/2012/10/too-hot-for-zine-fair.html).
So this zine has sat in my review pile ever since with me wondering what I should do with it. Except for later issues of a zine I really didn't enjoy due to it's humour style I've reviewed every single zine or minicomic I've received for this site (or if I haven't they're in my review pile and I will get to them eventually). Should I review this one? Just write a post about it? Ignore it? Not quite as hard as asking someone to leave the zine fair, but still a question I thought about a lot.
Now firstly I think there's definitely an element of irony involved in asking someone to leave a zine fair based (in part) on a work that says "always read a book before forming an opinion of it" (which we did on the day of the zine fair). As for the content, I think some of the characters depicted within are definitely offensive, and claiming the work is satirical doesn't make that go away. Even excluding that the art, writing style, and design don't appeal to me, and the final few pages are, to me, gruesome and gross in a completely unnecessary way.
So did we make the right decision? Yeah, I think so. I'd prefer not to be the organizer of an event that contained material such as this. So I'll stand by what we did, while hoping that I don't have to deal with a situation like that again.